Rafed English

The six men assembly of the Caliphate in (the year 24 After Hegira)

"As you know, after Abu Bakr, the one who had robbed and wore the cloak of Caliphate instead of me, consulted always with me in everything and always listened to me as to the many complex matters that he had to deal with.

No one can remember a day when he (Umar) did not ask from me. So I thought that finally I would get my right. Therefore, when Umar died unexpectedly, it seemed he had not had enough time to choose his successor, and I thought that I would gain my right of the Caliphate at last, and could do many reforms among the Umma of the Prophet (a.s.). However, the plot changed. Before his death, Umar had chosen six persons and I was the sixth among them. The strange thing was that I did not have an equal right as the others. He had not considered all of my backgrounds, sacrifices, hereditary right, my kinship to the Messenger of Allah (a.s.) and my being his brother, cousin and son-in-law! He himself knew that well, and I was definitely much better and suitable in all these things, than the others. His son Abdullah was the head of this assembly. If one of us was tired or wanted to exit from the assembly, he (Abdullah) had the right to kill us immediately.

And yon, my Jewish brother, have no idea how hard it was for me to be patient in that time ...!

They consulted for some days and believed that each of them was more suitable for this position (the Caliphate). I was always silent. If one of them had a question, I just talked about the past events and my numerous assistance to Islam.

Ridiculously enough, all of them remembered all of my achievements and efforts. I just reminded them of these things, because the Prophet (a.s.) had taken their covenants for my becoming the rightful Caliph and had insisted on my position after him before them all.

However, the sweet taste of authority, earthly wishes and power closed their eyes to these truths. The most important thing was that they wanted to restore their prominence of the past (the pre-Islamic age), and so they usurped my right once again.

I reminded them of the Day of Resurrection, and I wanted to do anything to stop their wrong doings, but all of them pretended to show their acceptance in front of me, whereas in fact, they wanted to choose themselves for the Caliphate, and they did not know that I would not accept that. On the other hand, they knew that I would do exactly according to the Book of Allah and the Sunna of the Prophet (a.s.) and that my successor would be chosen by the Will of Allah and not by me.

In that chaotic time, one of these men listened to his corrupted mind and chose Uthman, because he thought that in the near future, Uthman would appoint him in a high position; therefore, he persuaded the others to choose Uthman for this role... the one who was the least fit for that important position.

During the past, Uthman often had not participated in the wars (of Muslims), and everybody in the Arab peninsula believed that to participate in those wars was a distinct honor. Allah had bestowed many blessings on the Prophet (a.s.) and his family, that Uthman had nothing to do with them ... I am sure that the men, who had chosen him for this responsibility, regretted quickly what they had done only a few hours after their decision!

After a short time, the people who had appointed Uthman ibn Affan for the Caliphate, believed that he was a heretic. Uthman went to see some of his friends (from the Prophet's companions) and begged them to forgive him.

He said he was ready to resign because he wanted to redress his immorality.

Oh, my Jewish friend, that problem was very difficult and greater than the other problems, and I was at the point of overflowing the measure of my patience ...! It is hard to describe those days, but like past situations, I did nothing, but keep silence and be patient.

Yes, after a few hours of Uthman's being chosen as the Caliph on that fatal day, the other members of the assembly came to see me. They wanted me to depose Uthman. and assume this position. They swore before me to be under my command until their last breath, and support me until the day when Allah would return my true right to me.

Anyhow, my friend! Like the previous instances, and in relation with the former caliphs, I had no way but to remain silent, because I did not want to witness the death of my true friends and the true companions of our Prophet (a.s.), whereas if I had called them to death, they would never have hesitated.

As you know well, death to me is like refreshing, cold water in a hot sunny day in the desert! Know that my uncle Hamza, my brother Ja'far and my cousin Ubaydah had made a covenant with Allah, and so my followers had died while keeping their promise. I was the only one who had remained alive, by the Will of Allah, that Allah had revealed this verse about us, (Of the believers are men who are true to the covenant which they made with Allah: so of them, is he who accomplished his vow, and of them is he who yet waits, and they have not changed in the least). 1

Anyway, if I remained silent in front of ibn Affan and did nothing against him, I knew that his bad behavior and immorality would bring others to kill him too, and stop him from committing corruption ... So, I cloistered myself and kept tolerant until that day I had predicted. I did not say anything against or for Uthman until he died.

Aye ... They finally killed Uthman, and then they came to me trying to convince me to accept the responsibility of Caliphate (but they were not aware that on that critical situation, and in regard with that murder and knowing of their false intentions) I did not have any intention to accept the responsibility of the Caliphate. I knew that they just wanted to follow their desires, so they would not find the fulfillment of their desires in me. I mean the worldly desires and pleasures. However, they accepted me as their new Caliph anymore. But after a while, when Talha and Zobayr could not find their desires with me, they started to walk in a path opposite to mine and created seditious between the people against me. Is it not true?"

Every one said, "Yes it is true, 0 Commander of the Believers!"

The Jewish man could do nothing but cry.

1 Qur'an, 33:23.

Adapted from: "The Sufferings of Amirol Mo'minin Ali ibn Abi Talib (A.S.); Life and Martyrdom" by: "Majid Massoudi"

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